Room time – the 21st century answer to the summer game called “Get out of this house, go play and don’t come back until it’s dark!” If we had a fence, I might try that one (I’d bring out snacks periodically, of course) but I don’t want my kids roaming the neighborhood. At all. So instead, after reading about several other moms doing it, I decided we’d have an hour (FIVE?) of room time each day.
The boys could learn to play quietly – or not, I don’t care – and I’d get an hour to collect my thoughts and restore my general sanity. They didn’t seem to grasp this concept and day one of “room time” was a disaster.
“I DON’T WANNA GO UP THERE I HATE MY ROOM!!!”
“I ONLY GO UP THERE WITH FRIENDS!”
“Rhys is your friend.”
“NO HE IS JUST A BROTHER!”
“THERE’S NOTHING TO PLAY!” (all their toys are in their room)
After considering and dismissing the thought of shooing them up the stairs with a broom, I managed to somehow convince them to give it a try. And they did. And it worked! For about 10 minutes.
“WE WANT TO COME DOOOOOOWN!!!”
“IT’S BORING UP HERE!”
“THERE IS A SPIDER! MAMA! MAMA! MAMA!!! SPIDER! AUUUUUGGHHH!! EEEEEEEIIIII!!!”
In the end, the spider saved them. It had a nest with “five hundred thousand” eggs in it by the air vent near the bed. I never actually got visual or other confirmation of this spider, but if it did indeed exist, Dave took care of it because they either (a continued the charade when he got home in order to legitimize their “we hate room time” gripe and it turned out to be lint or (b there actually was a spider and he took care of it or (c they were up there praying I didn’t mention it to him and blow their cover. Had this spider been DOWNSTAIRS it would have been a marvel and kept them entertained for hours. ”Ooooooh! A spider! NEAT! Can we put it in a jar?!” I guess spiders follow the old real estate axiom: location, location, location.
If they have friends over, they always run straight up to their room and play. But they’re not interested if it’s just the two of them. It’s not like I’m asking them to go to separate rooms – yet. When Henry starts reading books, they’ll have an hour of quiet time to read and will be separated. Hopefully they won’t feel like they need an entourage in order to have fun in their rooms by that time.
And hopefully we’ll have a fence built, with a conveyer belt that sends out snacks. And they came come in when it gets dark!